Showing posts with label Lipbalms. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lipbalms. Show all posts

Friday, July 8, 2016

MAC Tendertalk Lip Balm Review

MAC Tendertalk Lip Balms ($20 each for 3g/.1 oz) launched earlier this summer in five shades. These are what MAC calls smart lip conditioners because they adjust in color based on your body chemistry. The concept is similar to that of the Dior Addict Lip Glow Revivers and Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector #3 where the formula is balmy and soft and also where colors will look very different on your lips compared to what you see in the tube is different.

The MAC Tendertalk Lip Balms come packaged in a sleek streamlined case much like the Huggable Lip Colors (some featured here and here). Tendertalks have an iridescent packaging that has a holographic 90's feel. It flashes all kinds of fluorescent colors depending on how the light hits the packaging.

There are five shades which is the most I've seen for this kind of color-shifting lip product. To date most of the color options I've seen are the light pink that often shifts to fuchsia on me or a coral. MAC added a few more options that are perfect for that semi-sheer bright summer lip look. The sheerness gives the balms a more effortless casual feel compared to an opaque full coverage look.

Do note these will most likely look different on you depending on your lip chemistry but I thought these were worth reviewing and swatching anyways.

Colors from left to right:
  • Candy Wrapped is a sheer almost transparent pink that turns into a bright pink on my lips.
  • Pretty Me Up is a sheer peachy color that also turns pinkish on my lips.
  • Play With Me is a sheer red that deepens and brightens in color on me.
  • Teddy Pink is a bright cool pink in the tube it turns more mauvey and cool-toned on me.
  • Side Dish is a cool pink that turns into a deeper mauve bright pink.
Another look and swatches on my lips. They took about 30 seconds to adjust in color on me. Once on, they did leave a slight stain on the lips, but it was easy to remove with makeup remover (I used the Clinique Take the Day Off).

Everyone knows I'm a neutral lip lover at heart, but for this launch my two favorites are the deeper brights in Play With Me and Side Dish. For summer I love the sheerer-brights. Many of the brighter lip color that has a bit of transparency gets a thumbs up from me - they're perfect for the summer season but wearable even for someone like me who almost always wears nudes or neutrals.

Texture is smooth and balmy without having a greasy feel. They are easy to apply without any tugging but not so soft that they feel like they will melt or break. Once on the lips there is a noticeable balmy feel like a cushion but it's not heavy. They have the signature soft vanilla scent that most MAC lipsticks have. I found they stayed put very well once on the lips - no sliding around and lasting power was good until I drank or ate something. They left a slight stain on my lips, but it was easy to remove with makeup remover. Moisture-wise they do have a moisturizing feel and they did not dry out my lips or make them peel like other MAC lip products do.

I like these for summer. There are however quite a few tinted new lip balms out this summer - I'll be reviewing the Estee Edit Cocobalms, the added shades of Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors and the limited-edition summer colors of Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors in the upcoming week. Depending on your preference for formula and packaging you may want to explore other options, however the ones from MAC are unique in the sense that they are the color-adjusting kind and have a brighter summery look in terms of color.

You can find the MAC Tendertalk Lip Balms at counters now. Online at MAC, Nordstrom, Macy's and Selfridges. Have you tried these yet? They launched last month so they've been out for a few weeks by now.

MAC Tendertalk Lip Balms provided courtesy of MAC for review consideration.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Bite Beauty Discovery Set - Holiday 2015

Bite Beauty always launches the cutest sets during the holidays. I can't tell you how many times I waited too long in past years and missed out. This year I ordered early and have swatches to share of the Discovery Set for Holiday 2015 ($55, limited-edition, exclusive to Sephora). This year's set has a mix of minis along with full size products. It's listed as a $110 value and contains:
  • 0.18 oz Agave Lip Mask in Clear (mini size) 
  • 0.03 oz Line and Define Primer in Clear (mini size) 
  • 0.031 oz Mini Matte Crème Lip Crayon in Glacé 
  • 5 x Lush Lip Wipes 
  • 0.15 oz Luminous Crème Lipstick in Pepper (full size) 
  • 0.11 oz Lush Fruit Lip Gloss Honey (full size) 
  • 0.09 oz High Pigment Pencil in Pomegranate (full size) 
  • Bite mirror 
The set comes packaged in individual boxes like this:

I already own Pepper Luminous Crème Lipstick reviewed + swatched here, but decided to buy the set anyways. It's one of my favorite neutrals - the Bite Beauty line has a lot to offer for neutral lip lovers with different undertones like brown, plum, pink, mauve etc. This set was the perfect way for me to try a lot from the line at a value price.

First up are the lip care and accessories:

The Lush Lip Wipes have been on my wishlist for a long time because I find the concept so interesting, even if it does seem like it's not necessary. These are makeup remover pads designed to take off lip color while hydrating the lip. It's supposed to leave a matte finish. I found it cleaned the lip entirely of color for regular lipsticks. It removed 85% of the color of the red lip pencil I tested from the set although there was still a red stain left on my lips. I did test them on the Kat Von D Lolita Everlasting Liquid Lipstick and it removed the product perfectly (usually I have to do several swipes of makeup remover).

The Line and Define Primer in Clear is a lip primer designed to prep the lips for color. The description says it's supposed to plump the lips although I didn't feel any plumping properties. The texture is on the thick side and does tug at the lips a little (at least for me). I was worried it would make lipstick stick versus glide, but I was really impressed with how smoothly lip crayons and lipsticks applied with this. It helps with lipstick feathering and lipstick goes on better and smoother. I'm not sure that I see lipstick last a lot longer, although I usually end up wiping off lip colors with snacks or drinks anyways. I would seriously consider buying the full size once it's used up.

Next is the mini Agave Lip Mask. I've tried this formula in the tinted versions in Champagne and Smashed. I really really love the formula as a hydrating lip treatment. The clear is nice to have but I really prefer the red one even if it's super sheer. If you want to use this as an overnight treatment, clear is the way to go so it doesn't stain your pillows.

Up next are the color items:

I already own and reviewed Pepper Luminous Creme Lipstick here. If you don't have it yet, you need it. It's also available in the Mix and Mingle Mini duo with Café (swatched here).

I've gone through a couple of the Mini Matte Creme Lip Crayons from last year and really like the formula (I can't remember which color I bought because I used it up and threw away the empty container). Glacé is a perfect your lips but better just slightly deeper mauve. Once this is used up  I'm repurchasing the full size. The formula glides on smoothly and adheres really well to the lips. I like that it's a twist up formula so there's no sharpening required.

This is my first time trying the High Pigment Pencil formula, and WOW, these really are high in pigment. Pomegranate is a bold red that packs in a lot of color and pigment. It has a slightly glossy sheen. Lasting power is pretty good and I didn't experience any smudging or bleeding. If you have any other color recommendations for this formula let me know.

Last but not least for color is the Honey Lush Fruit Lip Gloss. I've tried the Lip Gloss formula before and the colors are so good, but formula just doesn't work for me. It's thick and doesn't apply on my lips smoothly. Honey is such a gorgeous nude but went on my lips super blotchy. It does work better layered over any of the Bite Beauty Lipsticks to add a bit of shine, but when worn alone it's just not cutting it for me.

Lip swatches below, I'm wearing the Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation in Natural #5 (for skintone reference, all shades swatched in this post here):

Bottom line, LOTS to love with this set whether you're new to Bite Beauty or looking for a good gift to give this holiday. If you're iffy on 2-3 items then I'd recommend you opt to purchase items individually instead of the set. With the exception of the Honey Lip Gloss, I give all the other items a huge thumbs up.

You can find the Bite Discovery Set online and in stores at Sephora. Do note it's limited-edition. If you're a VIB member, don't forget today is the last day to shop the VIB 20% off sale with code VIB20 at checkout.

Have you checked out any of the Bite Beauty sets this year? If you have any Bite Beauty favorites please let me know in the comments. I'm still pretty new to many of the formulas and would love your recommendations!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Sara Happ Lip Scrubs, The Lip Slip One Luxe Balm and One Luxe Glosses

I first tried Sara Happ's line a couple of months ago when I ordered the Sparkling Pink Lip Set from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (it's still available online). One of my BFFs raves about and swears by The Lip Slip One Luxe Clear Shine Lip Gloss - she wears it over her lipstick or alone for a soft glossy shine. I usually don't wear clear gloss so I opted for the Pink Lip gloss along with the Grapefruit Lip Scrub since it came in a set - both are really fun to use. I've since been able to play with a few more of the items from Sara Happ's line. Today I have a review on some of The Lip Scrubs, The Lip Slip One Luxe Balm and her One Luxe Gloss in The Pink Slip and The Nude Slip (they all retail at $24 each).

The Sara Happ Lip Scrubs have been on my radar for a long time but the concept of a scrub on the lips sounded a bit harsh for my super sensitive skin. The packaging can't be beat with these though - they come packaged in a small square box with a white little bow. These make the cutest little gifts and you don't have to do any wrapping to make them look special. These are gritty and have texture but have an emollient feel so they glide easily on the lips. They do get a bit messy, as you can expect with a scrub. The instructions say to apply on the lips and massage in a circular motion, then wipe off with a tissue. I tried each of these several time and each time I think I applied too much (although maybe it's because they taste amazing). Using a tissue wasn't enough to remove it from my lips. I had to wipe it off with a slightly damp towel as well. These leave the lips feeling super soft - it does help remove dry patches and flakes. These are paraben free and made with natural ingredients. Ingredients vary slightly per flavor. I've been playing with several flavors for a few weeks now:
  • Peony is a limited-edition flavor, it resembles the floral scent that the lip glosses and lip balm have, it's not my favorite but if you like soft florals this one is really good, it's not bad tasting - it's just the sweeter ones are amazing by comparison
  • Vanilla Bean is a brown-colored scrub, it smells and tastes like vanilla bean without being too sweet or sugary
  • Confetti Cake is another limited-edition one, it tastes and smells similar to Vanilla Bean, but softer and more like a sugar cookie or white cake
  • Sparkling Pink Grapefruit (not shown) smells exactly like grapefruit, if you like citrusy fruity scents this one is really fun

Ingredients of The Luxe Lip Balm (above) and Vanilla Bean Lip Scrub (bottom):

The Lip Slip One Luxe Balm is a floral scented milky pink balm that has tiny bits of silver shimmer mixed in. On my lips it's pretty clear in color although the milky pink tint does make my lips look a bit pale. It's on the thick side for a lip balm - a little goes a very long way. This is the closest thing I've ever tried that compares to the By Terry Baume de Rose in terms of look and feel. Of course the two aren't identical, but the Sara Happ Luxe Balm has a similar milky light pink tint and a thick texture with a floral scent. My preference is still for the By Terry, but the Sara Happ does a really good job at hydrating the lips - my only hesitation in keeping this one in my purse for daily use is that it's very thick in texture and a bit too heavy for day. I suspect once fall/winter rolls around I will be loving the texture more, right now for summer in high 80-100 degree weather, it's too much.

The One Luxe Glosses come in four colors. Below are two of them in The Pink Slip and The Nude Slip. Both come in a tube with a large sponge applicator. The glosses are fairly thick in texture and have a sticky tacky feel to them. They feel really nourishing on the lips. The Nude Slip is lighter than my natural lip color and took some blending to apply smoothly - it's a nude color but doesn't wash out the complexion. I'm a huge lover of nude lips but this one was a bit too pale for my skintone. The Pink Slip on the other hand is a lovely baby pink that has enough color to give the face a glow. It's on the cool-toned side on my skin but looking at the tube I would call it more in the neutral territory (not too warm and not too cool). It makes the lips look very healthy. Lasting power is pretty good with these since they have that thick tacky feel. If you're not a fan of thick sticky formulas though you may want to skip.

Swatches of all three:

Bottom line, fun lip products to play with for grown ups. The packaging makes these really special even though you will probably end up throwing away the boxes. It gives them a unique feel that you don't see with other brands. I'm obsessed with The Pink Slip Lip Gloss as it gives the lips a healthy glow. The Nude Slip is a good nude but too light for me. I like the way the Lip Slip Luxe Balm performs - it hydrates the lips really well, but the texture is thick and a bit too heavy for the hot weather we have right now.

In terms of the Lip Scrubs, I think Vanilla Bean and Confetti Cake are musts. I'm super picky when it comes to sweet scents in lip products - these have just the right amount of sweetness without being over the top. I was skeptical about how useful these would be but after trying them, I really don't know what took me so long to try one.

Have you tried anything from Sara Happ before? What are your favorites? Occasionally you can see some sets available for sale that give a slight price break. You can find Sara Happ at Nordstrom, Beautyhabit, Blue Mercury, and Selfridges.

Confetti Cake, Vanilla Bean, Peony and The Nude Slip were provided as press samples for review consideration. Other items purchased by me.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Magic

Charlotte Tilbury has released a few new items this spring. One thing that caught my eye is the Lip Magic Rejuvenating, Smoothing Propolis Balm ($35 for 5 ml / 0.17 fl oz). I ordered it online from Beautylish and it arrived at my house at lightening speed. When it comes to lip balms, I'm really picky. I have sensitive lips that easily react to products with plumping properties or any kind of tingly feel (for some reason my lips go numb with Kiehl's). I really like Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Cream for the face so I decided to give her new Lip Magic a try. I was pleasantly surprised.

The Lip Magic is an anti-aging lip balm that doubles as a lip primer. This one is described as having a rather fancy formula designed to seal in moisture, protect lips from the environment and also provide long-term lip healing benefits. I haven't used it long enough to see any anti-aging effects but I do like it's formula. It's on the emollient side (versus the By Terry Baume de Rose pots or sticks which are thicker and more creamy). There is a slight floral scent to the balm. When I first smelled it I thought the fragrance would be too strong or that it could translate into something that had a bad taste. I was relieved to find that the scent is actually very soft and not overpowering. It also has no detectable taste.

Since it's so emollient, I was skeptical at how well this would work as a base/primer for lipstick. It works really well with the Charlotte Tilbury lipliners and lipsticks (my neutrals in Nude Kate, Hepburn Honey, Bitch Perfect, Stoned Rose, Penelope Pink and Confession swatched here). Her lipsticks are very creamy and super pigmented which I find glide on the lips well, but sometimes full coverage lipsticks can make the lips look aged if they aren't well moisturized or prepped properly. I usually use MAC's Prep + Prime Lip to help prepare my lips for any kind of lip product. It's one of the few lip primers that helps smooth my lip while allowing lipstick to adhere to my lips better. The Charlotte Tilbury Lip Magic really does work to help lipstick glide on nicely - and the lipstick doesn't slide off when layered on top. 

Ingredients: Olus Oil, Synthetic Beeswax, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Acacia Decurrens/Jojoba/Sunflower Seed Cera/Polyglyceryl-3 Esters, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Candelilla Wax(Cera), PPG-25-Laureth-25, Fragrance (Parfum), Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxydrocinnamate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cyclodextrin, Aloe Barbadensis Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Propolis Extract, Tocopherol.

The only downside is the pot is a bit small for the price. It's compact enough to slip into a clutch or small makeup bag, but I do wish it had more product in the jar to justify the price. Still, it's a very good lip balm and lip primer in one, so I'm not complaining.

Bottom line it performs extremely well. It hydrates, smooths and makes the lips feel incredibly smooth. It has an emollient texture which glides on the lips and makes them feel very nice. I am really amazed at how well it works as a lip primer for her lipsticks. I also tested it with Tom Ford Lips & Boys and the new Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Cremes (more on this next week) and it worked well with both formulas.

You can find the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Magic now online at Beautylish. Also at Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman and online at Charlotte Tilbury.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Bite Beauty Smashed Agave Lip Mask

Bite Beauty has a new addition to their line called Smashed Agave Lip Mask ($26 for .52 oz / 15 g) which is a sheer lush berry red. This comes in a squeeze tube and in my experience I've found the Agave Lip Masks really easy to use, however I found that packaging this round required less squeezing to dispense product compared to the Champagne Agave Lip Mask (reviewed last August). Smashed is a sheer lush cherry red. It's ultra hydrating and plumps the lips. There is enough color to provide a sheer tint of color which makes the lips look healthy with a slightly flushed look - but I found it very sheer.

The formula is similar to Champagne in the sense that it on the thick side but feels very smooth on the lips. There is a slight vanilla almond-like fragrance to the product. I know some of you could not stand the way Champagne tasted when some transferred from the lips. I didn't have issues, but the fragrance and taste of Smashed has improved in my opinion. With these lip masks I have mixed feelings. The formula is really good in terms of how they plump the lips naturally without irritating. They also work wonders for dry or chapped lips. It's like wearing a soft cushion of moisturizer on the lips, the Agave Lip Masks feel really nice and aren't sticky.

The pigment and colors are a bit disappointing in terms of how sheer they are on the lips. If you look at the shades in the tube or swatched on the hand they are gorgeous! I understand these are primarily lip treatments with a tint added for fun. I do wish the pigment was richer or more opaque on the lips because the colors look really pretty. The second miss for me is the delicate nature of the packaging. In my last post several of you mentioned that you wanted tips on how to keep the tubes looking fresh and in tact. The pliable nature of the tube makes these easy to use but you can't just throw these in the makeup bag and hope they retain their shape. I've primarily kept mine at home or in a flat cosmetic bag so that it doesn't get smashed by other products.

One more positive notes include the fact that the lip product doesn't transfer or bleed. On me it lasted for four hours and through a cup of coffee (although not through snacks). For me it's important that a lip balm does not slide or feel like it's sliding off the lips onto the face. This one adheres well to the lips and I like that it stays put.


Some comparison swatches:

By Terry Baume de Rose Cherry Bomb (mini wand version, review here)

If you want more color, I highly recommend checking out Fresh Sugar Cherry or By Terry Cherry Bomb. Overall I give the Bite Smashed Agave Lip Mask a thumbs up for formula but a meh/iffy review on the color. If you don't mind sheer colors and want a very slight flushed tint, it is a really good one. I don't always mind sheer lip items but for this one I think I could give it a 100% glowing review if it had more color. Long-time Beauty Look Book readers know I'm a fan of super natural lips, but even with this one, I find myself craving more pigment and color. I do recommend you check out the 150+ customer reviews on I usually find them helpful.

Bite Beauty Smashed Agave Lip Mask retails for $26. It's currently an online exclusive at

Sunday, December 14, 2014

By Terry Baume de Rose Set (Limited-Edition)

By Terry has released a limited-edition Baume de Rose Collection Set ($89 for 5 mini tinted rose balms, each 2.3 g/0.08 oz, made in France). This is a luxurious beauty set cased in a small pink box and ribbon. There are five mini lip balms in a tube format. One is of the items is the classic Baume de Rose which is clear with a slightly milky pink tint. The others include some Baume De Rose Nutri-Couleurs in wand format including Rosy Babe 1, Cherry Bomb 3, Fig Fiction 5 and Toffee Cream 6. Even though I already own the full size versions of three of the five items, I was intrigued by the compact packaging and wand format of the rose balms and ordered a set from Net-A-Porter.

The balms in this Baume de Rose Set come with angled and beveled sponge tip applicators. The little balms are miniature in size making them perfect to store in a small clutch or purse. These are tinted balms so it's only natural to expect them to be on the sheer side. There is still quite a bit of pigment in them so they do show up on my lips. The texture is medium to thick. They feel like a balm on the lips and go on smoothly, but they don't slide off like some lip balms do. The slightly thick texture helps them stay on the lips - however since these are balms, these won't stay put on your lips all day long.

The colors in the Baume de Rose Set this year:

  • Baume de Rose is a sheer milky pink that goes on clear
  • Rosy Babe 1 is a baby pink cream
  • Cherry Bomb 3 is a luscious pink red
  • Fig Fiction 5 is a sheer purple plum
  • Toffee Cream 6 is a warm nude pink tan

With any flash or sunlight, the balms reflect their naturally glossy sheen. Once applied, they give the lips the most luscious natural sheen and they feel quite amazing on the lips. 

Without flash:

I've reviewed the full sizes of the Baume de Rose, Mandarina Pulp, Boom Berry/Fig Fiction/Toffee Cream before on the blog. The colors in the Holiday Baume de Rose Set are identical in undertone to the full size in pots, however I found the colors in this set to be a bit sheerer in pigment and slightly thinner in texture. I suspect a part of the sheerness is due to the applicator. The sponge picks up less color compared to a lip brush that I dip into the pots. I'll show swatches of the set vs individual pots below.

First, some packaging comparisons. The full size Baume de Rose Gloss ($53 for 7 ml/0.23 fl oz) versus the minis ($89 for the set divided by 5 equals $17.80 per balm for 2.3 g/ 0.08 oz):

The full size Baume de Rose Nutri-Couleur ($56 for 7 g/0.24 oz) pots versus the minis ($89 for the set divided by 5 equals $17.80 per balm for 2.3 g/ 0.08 oz):

Comparison swatches:

Lip swatches:

I've been a huge fan of By Terry Baume de Rose (for the original, gloss and tinted pots). They are extremely pricey so I would call these a super luxurious treat versus a must-have. There are quite a few other lip balms I adore that are more affordable but none of them compare to the By Terry. If you've tried a Baume de Rose you know that these are luscious balms that have a beautiful rich but soothing rose scent. The formula is creamy and smooth making it feel like your lips are getting a spa treatment when you apply it.

The Baume de Rose Set is also a luxurious splurge. If you have been wanting to try the tinted Baume de Rose colors but don't want to spend $56 on a full size pot, this is a much more affordable way to try multiple colors. My favorite color out of all the tinted options is still Fig Fiction (it's the one of the prettiest plum lip colors I've tried).

I give this a thumbs up although I have a slight preference for the full size pots. It is a really good intro set to By Terry's Baume de Rose, but will also make a really beautiful gift this holiday for someone special.

If you're looking for this set, I recommend purchasing it soon - it has already sold out on Space NK and Barneys (although you might still be able to find them in stores). Online you can find this set at Net-A-Porter and, while supplies last (it is limited-edition).


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